Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Look How Far We've Come Baby

So over the weekend I had to opportunity to speak to a group of adults with hearing loss.  Initially when I was asked to speak I thought "what in the world am I going to talk about???".  But after some thinking and reminiscing about talks with my grandparents about raising children with hearing loss I came up with a topic.  I called it Aural Habilitation...These Days.  

I started off my talk with  my story about running into a cashier at Target who wore hearing aids.  When I told the cashier I was an SLP she told me how much she hated going to therapy when she was growing up.  Of course I was a little saddened to think...will my patients say that one day???  I try my best every day to be creative with ways to make my therapy seem like play.  Mostly because we know that a child's work is play, but also because I would much rather play grocery store than do a worksheet.

I went on to tell about how parent involvement is the center of my practice and how each session is focused on training the parents of how to work with their children at home.  I showed a video of a typical therapy session with a 2 and 1/2 year old with hearing loss.  I could just see it in their eyes how amazed they were at therapy these days.  A couple of them even raised their hands to tell me about how speech when they were growing up was just imitating the words of their clinicians.  Ummm no...Miss Ginger don't play that game.

I really can't take any credit for how the tides have changed.  There have been so many great researchers and therapists before me who have paved the way for making learning to communicate functional AND fun.  I am so grateful to do what I do this day and age and for the gift of learning from history.

Here are some pics of the day...

You can see my sweet mama in the third one in the pink sweater.  Isn't she beautiful?

Thanks to the Nashville Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America for allowing me to be a part of their meeting.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm So In

Personal post today....just because.  If you held a gun to my head and asked me to tell you any of my close girlfriends' phone numbers I couldn't do it, but if you happen to ask for the 1-800 provider numbers for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and United Healthcare I could tell you.  So is my life lately...

I knew when I left my former (very valued) job that I was trading one set of challenges for another, but I don't think I knew just HOW challenging dealing with insurance companies would be.  So today I type as an in-network provider with Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Unsure of what the next 180 days of this contract will bring, but I am 100% confident in my ability to roll with the punches and learn from it.

A negotiated very small step for HUGE step for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

You Gotta Fight...For Your Right(s)

You don't have to fight for these rights...I just wanted to write a post about parents' rights and I couldn't think of a catchy title.  Thanks, Beastie Boys!  

I am not talking about legal rights.  That is a whole 'nother post that would take days.  I'll get to that, but for today here is a list of rights you have as a parent of a child with special needs.

You have the right:

- to feel angry
- to seek another opinion
- to privacy
- to keep trying
- to set limits
- to just be a parent
- to be unenthusiastic
- to time off
- to be the expert in charge
- to dignity
- to hear the truth

You don't have to be a super-parent, you don't have to live your child's special needs every minute of every day.  I bet that you are better at doing all the things you've been told you need to do than you could imagine.  It just doesn't seem as effortful when it is a habit.